When you start to think ugly thoughts about your body, I highly recommend squelching them with some ice cream. Or a snow cone. Hi, vegan friends. High-res

When you start to think ugly thoughts about your body, I highly recommend squelching them with some ice cream. Or a snow cone. Hi, vegan friends.

How to Shop VIntage

Aged pieces require more scouting, more inspecting, and more patience to find than any others. Thrift stores are great for finding vintage pieces, but if you want to find retro pieces in good condition, a legit vintage store is your haven. Here are some tips to get the best pieces for your buck.

1. Don’t go by the label size (if there even is one)

It’s been rumored that Marilyn Monroe was a size 12 – a 1950s size 12, not a 2013s. Remember: vintage clothes run small compared to today’s standards. Hold the item up to your body to get a gauge of whether it’s feasible for your body, to weed out the obviously too large and too small items, and then start trying on. The biggest takeaway: TRY IT ON. Vintage silhouettes can be vastly different from the styles of today, and it takes putting it on your body to decide if the cut works for you. Clothes look different on the hanger.

2. Look for tears and stains

Missing a button? Seam unraveling? Pants too short? Easy fix: it’s called a sewing kit and they sell them at the 99cent store so no excuses! A Dexter Morgan-esque crimson stain on that white chiffon shirt? Not so much. Spot a little dirt on the sleeve? Get some stain remover, girl. If the damage is structural (not enough fabric available to let out the hem, large tears, burn holes or excessively warm and thin fabric) you’ll have to pass. “Disintegrating” is not the same as “vintage”.

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Vintage Deadstock Gold Knot Rings
Single Knot $20
Double Knot $24 Vintage Pocket Knives $22 In God We Trust golden heart necklace $45 Nemadji Pottery $36-58 MCMC Perfume Oil $45 Minimalist Necklaces $24 Saipua Soap $10 Jess Williamson's new Native State album $7 Mantis Massage customized massages $30-$120

Galentine’s + Valentine’s Gifts

With Galentine’s Day and Valentine’s Day fast approaching, you may be on the prowl for some sweet gifts for the special lady in your life! I’ve got you covered. Here are some of my favourite gift ideas from Austin, the other city of love.


Knot Rings, Vintage Pocket Knives, Golden Heart, Nemadji Pottery, MCMC Perfume Oil, Minimalist Necklaces, Saipua Soap

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Jess Williamson

Jess Williamson’s newest album, Native Stateis a mesmerizing mix of voice and banjo. It’s delicate and forthright and comforting and aching and beautiful in every way. 

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Mantis Massage

This is my favourite place to get a massage in Austin! They’ve put my body back together after rough bike rides and my sanity back together after rough weeks. Massages are customized to your needs and start at just $30 for 30 minutes. 

— By Hillary-Anne Crosby, Vagina Editor-in-Chief 

Lipstain Reviews

In the past 3 years, the beauty world has been abuzz with new products. Vibrating mascara wands, color-change makeup, and BB and CC creams have been all the rage. But my favorite trend? Lipstain. Once relegated to Benefit and Tarte, they’re now widely available at drugstores. (Hey, a girl’s got to bargain on a budget.) If you’re a busy gal or a low-key babe, lipstains are invaluable. You get the pop of color that lasts all day — hopefully. On that note, here are the winners and losers of my lipstain tests and shades to try if you pick one up.


NYC Smooch Proof 16-Hour Lipstain - $4.99

For the price, this product is wonderful. It’s perfect for ladies who want to ease into the trend without shelling out their precious booze money. It is well-pigmented and lasts around 6-8 hours without touch-ups but the shades are limited to more natural lip colors. Still, it doesn’t leave an unsightly ring around your lips as it wears off. It’s a tad drying, so layer a balm or gloss over it.

Fave shade: Forever Mine Wine was an excellent choice for trying the oxblood trend.

Covergirl Outlast Lipstain - $8

This one comes in a variety of shades, which is its main selling point. It’s not particularly long lasting (maybe 3 hours) and the tube doesn’t last long. In fact, the 3 colors I’ve purchased (from different locations, mind you) have all rather dry tips upon opening. Bringing a new mascara or lipstain home to find the tube dry is like going home with a boy and discovering he has whiskey dick — major disappointment. This is the whiskey dick of lipstains.

Fave shade: Wild Berry Pink perks up your lips with a shade a bit richer than your natural color.

Maybelline Color Sensation Lipstain - $6.99

This one certainly has no problem with dryness — lots of stain comes out of that little felt tip, meaning fewer swipes over your lips. I made the mistake of being too generous and having the stain run past the corner of my lips, in a Joker-face mishap. Try dabbing it on with your fingers instead of straight from the tube, especially if you have fine lines around your mouth. While the colors aren’t as vibrant as some other brands, they do carry unusual lipstain colors others don’t like toffee and sandstone. It lasts a bit longer than Outlast, about 4-5 hours. I bought mine a year ago and it’s still trucking.

Fave shade: A Touch of Toffee gives an earthy look with a hint of berry.

Revlon Just Bitten Lipstain - $8.99

No complaints on color payoff here. The color is saturated and the applicator makes precise application a snap. It is one of the longer-wearing stains, hitting 6 hours of wear. Beware, this one is a little drying on the lips. To combat this problem, the stain contains a silky smooth balm at the other end. The problem? Since the balm doesn’t twist up, I consistently knock that nub of balm off!

Fave shade: Flame is a vibrant orange-red that’s more vixen than vamp.

Revlon ColorStay Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain $7.50

How do I love thee, lip butter stain? Let me count the ways. Instead of being inky liquid dispensed through a felt tip, this stain comes in a solid gel-like consistency. It looks like a giant crayon and goes on like a lip balm. Your lips look creamy and slightly glossy for 5-6 hours. Lips are thoroughly stained, even after the lipstick-like consistency wears off. Lips are never dried out or tacky. It’s my go-to lip color and has lasted through many a make-out session.

Favorite shade: The Lovesick P

—By Lauren Osborn

Recommended Books For Single Gals

A few months ago, I was prompted to seek out books for single gals after a customer at my bookstore joked that she wanted a counterpart to the store’s Relationships section. As someone who regularly stocks those shelves, I’ve noticed that quite a few books directed toward singletons seem to be anti-single ladies. It got me a little bit peeved. It’s not that I’m bitter about being a single twenty-something. Surprise! Often enough it’s a choice you can make for yourself and not always a problem that needs fixing. So I decided to put together a display of awesome books for single gals at Austin’s BookPeople. Some of them are relationship books that speak directly to single gal life, but others are just great works that are perhaps made more enjoyable while unattached. Here are a few of my favourites: 

The Between Boyfriends Book: This book is full of witty, hilarious, and pitch-perfect essays about the various stages of being a single gal. I recommend reading this to avoid bugging all of your engaged pals with singleton stories.

Getting Off: A Woman’s Guide to Masturbation: Yes. Yes. Yes.

Anthropology of an American Girl: The story of Eveline may not be standard, but every page rings true. Her narrative is heart-wrenching and exquisite. If Holden Caulfield were a girl aging from 17 to 22, he would be Evie.

Wild: Every good thing you’ve heard about this book? I agree completely. “Powerful”, yes. “Riveting”, yes. “Fierce”, yes. I read this book while in the process of tearing my life apart. It may not be the same as hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, but I recommend it as a sort of plan B. 

It’s Called A Breakup Because It’s Broken: The Smart Girl’s Break-Up Buddy: This book is alternately funny, aggravating, and just what you need to get you through a break-up. Sure, it’s a mixed bag but so is all advice, right?

Sugar BabyWho needs a sugar daddy or a sugar mama when you’ve got Sugar Baby? Candies, cookies, cakes, and more. Treat yourself to some sugar, girl! 

Also recommended: Daring Greatly, Bossypants, My Life Map

By Hillary-Anne Crosby, Vagina Editor-in-Chief

Thrifting 101

As someone who alternately describes her style as “thrift store chic” and “quirky chic” (with more thrift store and quirk than chic), I’m always in and out of thrift stores and my favorite local vintage spots. There’s a wonderful sense of personal accomplishment that comes with scoring secret treasures from either. Shopping always leaves me giddy, but thrift and vintage shopping are a world apart from window shopping at Anthropologie or trying on the latest merch for my favorite shop girls at my favorite boutique. They’re easier on my credit card, for one, but also feel more adventurous, more personal. Even as “thrifted” and “vintage” styles have become a bit ubiquitous for us cool twenty-something girls, there’s a specialness to them and a unique wearability that gives any outfit, any personal style a little extra somethin’ somethin’.

So, here are a few tips for starting your own adventure!

1) Go in with an idea of what you’re looking for. When I go thrifting and vintage hunting, I usually make a day of it. This means treating myself to coffee and a vegan donut at a cozy little coffee shop while I pour over blogs and glossies before heading out. This way, I’m full of inspiration for what I want to wear (or who I want to be that day). Knowing what you want before you start will save you time and effort—and can keep you from getting overwhelmed. This can mean anything from taking a quick peek at a blog for a trend you want to follow, like Spring camo or chunky menswear-inspired shoes (two trends that I’m head over heels for, by the way), to taking a quick inventory of our closet to note what you’re missing. Are you ready to swap all those maxi skirts for midis? 

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Dating Lies From Girlie Mags

Sometimes, I wonder if girlie mags aren’t out to sabotage us normal gals. We’ve all perused articles in issues of Cosmo or Allure or Glamour and asked, “Are they effing kidding?” (No one should ever twist and pull a penis simultaneously, Glamour!) Perhaps the most offenses belong in the category of dating. These magazines offer some outlandish advice on “how to land a man” and because I love you all and do not want you to fail, I’ve tried some of these approaches to report back on what works and what doesn’t.

1.Write Dating Business Cards: Write your name, number, and a one-liner on a sheet of paper (or bar napkin, let’s be real) and give it to a fellow.

Results: Pretty disastrous. Dubbed a “sure-fire way to get a man’s attention”, it gets their attention alright — in the absolute wrong way. In my attempts, I’ve had men crumple it, drop it on the floor in front of me, and straight up laugh in my face. No one thought I was confident or forward, the common consensus was that I was a weirdo. Also, engaging one-liners are hard to come up with. “Your face would look great between my legs,” is definitely not one you should try.

2. Perfect Your Come Hither Look: Drop your chin, tilt your head to the side, and look up from under your lashes.

Results: Failure. Remember that scene in House Bunny where the nerdy character attempts to flirt and the male asks if she has something in her eye? Yeah, my experience exactly. The whole head down/tilt move aggrandized the double chin and that subtle batting of the lashes just made my eyes water. This trick is supposed to make you appear approachable but in my case it just resembled a small seizure. Mainly, dudes just ignored me and my ridiculous facial contortions.

3. Engage in Guy Topics: Make small talk about sports, cars, and other guy-centric subjects.

Results: Sad. It makes sense to start a conversation over shared interests. But where this advice fails is in its assumption that I don’t have anything to say about sports or cars and in its assumption that that is all guys are interested in discussing. I tried this at two bars. I interrupted a conversation a fellow was having about the Dallas Stars to discuss a player who I didn’t realize was traded three years ago. Fail. I find it terrible to start a relationship on false pretenses like this. I’m not interested in sports except the San Antonio Spurs and I have no knowledge of cars except that mine totally sucks. Every guy knew I was desperately reaching for a topic of conversation and that I had no idea what I was talking about — so not hot.

4. Accidentally Bump Into a Hot Guy: Nudge a guy at the grocery store or at the park to get his attention.

Results: Painful. Bumping into someone does require you to engage in conversation right off the bat, as you obviously must apologize. But is that any way to make a first impression,  as the clumsy girl who body-checked him? I hate the idea that my first words to a dude are, “Sorry, my bad.” The physical contact was more painful than intimate. Furthermore, my subtle bumps seemed to be more annoying to the fellas than anything else. One guy asked me point-blank, “Did you just do that on purpose?” Yes, yes I did. And it was dumb. Also, in the process a guy accidentally elbowed me right in the areola. Sad panda over here.

5. Play Dumb: Self-explanatory

Results: Mixed. Playing dumb works in some ways. Asking, “Do I know you?” or “Didn’t you play soccer at Mac?” when you know the answer is “No” is a good way to start a conversation. But pretending you know nothing about cameras when you’re a photographer just to make him feel like he has the upperhand is straight up dishonest. You’re selling yourself short by downplaying your intelligence and that’s never a good way to start a relationship. When a boy asked me if I watched basketball, I told him no and listened for 15 minutes while he explained the game to me. I tried to ask questions to keep the conversation going but they were pretty vapid. (I know b-ball like the back of my hand, yo.) In the end, I mainly looked like an idiot.

6. Show Me Your Moonwalk: At a bar or club, ask a fellow to show you his moonwalk.

Results: SUCCESS. I was skeptical of this maneuver. Not only is it ridiculous but Michael Jackson is dead for Pete’s sake — it almost seems outdated. And now some of the people in clubs were born in the freaking 90’s — do those kids even know what the moonwalk is? Still, several guys showed me their moonwalk. I might have shown mine a few times, too. If nothing else, it made these dudes actually talk to me. They seemed quizzical but intrigued by this random request. Above all, it made them laugh and feel comfortable talking to me. How apprehensive can you be around someone you showed your moonwalk to? Not apprehensive at all.  

 —By Lauren Osborn, Vagina Prose+Poetry Editor

Get Happy

It’s never just as easy as that, but here’s some fun ideas that might help a little anyway:

-Get dressed up! Or dress down! Whichever you get to do less

-Treat yourself to some flowers

-Take yourself out to dinner

-Better yet, take a friend out to dinner

-Go for a long walk in the sunshine or under the stars

-Hold an animal

-Read a book you know you love

-Karaoke out all of your aggression

-Take a bath

-Go somewhere for the first time

-Change the color of something — your hair, your bookcase, your walls, whatever

-Write your loved ones Thank You letters

-Talk to a stranger in a funny voice

—By Hillary-Anne Crosby, Vagina Editor-in-Chief

Me & Margaret

At almost 24, I have just read Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret for the first time. For those of you who’ve read the book—I know, I know. For those of you who haven’t read the book—this 1970 story written by Judy Blume deals with an eleven-year-old girl growing up over the course of her sixth grade school year. So why am I so in love with this book thirteen years removed from that period in my life?

Throughout AYTGIMM, Margaret must confront religion, peer pressure, girl-on-girl bullying, and body image issues. She’s a pre-teen girl and I’m a twenty-something-year-old woman but I can still relate to every one of those troubles, as I think so can most of my peers.

Margaret has a crush on someone that her friends don’t like? Margaret feels pressured to identify with a religion? Margaret is jealous of another girl’s figure? 

We’ve all been there, then and now. As I read this book, I found myself rooting for Margaret to be honest with herself and her friends, to not be so quick to judge other girls, to take the time to find out who she really is and not try to rush her identity. And now here I am, rooting for myself and rooting for you to be honest with ourselves and our friends, to not be so quick to judge other girls, and to take the time to find out who we really are and never try to rush our identities.

—By Hillary-Anne Crosby, Vagina Editor-in-Chief

Hi Ladies!

The Fall ‘13 submission deadline is quickly approaching (only 2 more days, yikes!) and our Music section is looking pretty thin. We’d love to hear from you about any and all music you’ve been listening to, viewing, or creating lately! Have you been to a good concert lately? Is there an album that you can’t turn off? Did you put together the ultimate summer playlist? Did you learn all the words to Ice Ice Baby just to pass the time? WRITE ABOUT IT FOR VAGINA! You can send your submissions to me at Amy(at)TheVaginaZine.com or send em to Rebecca at Rebecca(at)TheVaginaZine.com

Hope to hear from you soon! 

xoxo Amy, Music Co-Editor


It’s all about leverage.

Position your fingers just so, around the neck of the bottle, “it’s all about leverage, use the lighter for leverage.” The times you tried to teach me this are countless. It’s a godsend, for you and me both, that I never punched you in the face. Or started carrying a bottle opener with me. But ultimately, I gave up. I let you have that; you opened our bottles, because you trying to teach me to do so was actually you just yelling the same thing over and over at me. We told each other the same things, month after month, and you broke my heart.

That fucking lighter leverage.

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Ask The Sexpert

Unless you are a nun, chances are you will have sex sometime within your lifetime, and when you do, you should be educated about what really happens to your body, and when you should worry. It amazes me how many unanswered questions women have about sex. I hope to answer as many of these questions as possible. I may not be a doctor, but I’ve had my share of sexy times in my heyday, plus I’m a science/medical nerd, thus supplying you a wealth of knowledge.

Q: Sometimes when on top (cowgirl), I get crampy, almost like a period cramp. What is wrong with me?
A: This position is a favorite for most men because: 1. The woman does all the work (typical men), and 2. They get to watch boobies fly! (Once again, typical men). This position allows for deep penetration, which can be very pleasurable and can lead to intense orgasms. Intense orgasms can make you feel crampy because of muscle contractions. Another reason may be that if your partner is well endowed or you have a short vaginal canal, you may actually be putting pressure on your cervix causing spotting and cramping. Most of the time these symptoms turn out to be nothing more than a product of rough sex, or normal cervical changes. However, you should see your OB/GYN to make sure you don’t have anything else going on

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Travelers Guide to Everywhere

Never leave your front door without a hammock, a flip phone, and an old Christmas sweater. Wherever in the world you would like to visit, these three things will ensure successful, fulfilling travels.  If you ask yourself, before packing for a trip, what you need to fulfill your voyage’s goals, you should still end up with the same three things in your suitcase – a hammock, a flip phone, and an old Christmas sweater.

Let’s say, for example, you would like to relax from the stresses of everyday life at a beach front villa. The hammock, for obvious reasons, will help you sway away your worries. When the evening’s breeze comes in, you can throw on the Christmas sweater and instead of risking scratching a fancy i-phone, you can safely leave an old flip phone on the sand and go for a dip.

Camping? Self explanatory – a hammock is essential for all outdoor settings. A flip phone for emergencies and you wouldn’t want to ruin any nice sweaters in the backcountry.

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